Candidates statementsParish Council Candidates

As mentioned in a previous article, the statements received for the candidates standing for election to the Parish Council on Thursday 7th May 2015 are shown below (quick link from the bullet list):

BUTCHER, Brian Tony

Brian ButcherI was co-opted to the PC about a year ago, having earlier joined the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and Planning committee. I think my now colleagues thought I had something to offer the community through serving on the Council!

Relative newcomers, Anne & I have been here for five years, but we did only move 1km across the border to get here! By profession I’m a chartered structural engineer & a project safety registered member. It has been an enjoyable year serving the community and one I would wish to continue, bringing 35 years of construction, insurance, contract and management knowledge to the table, to the Council, and for the benefit of the Parish.

When not “on duty” or working I’m in the garden, gym, swimming or trying to play golf. I hope to get your vote, but if not then please do vote for all my colleagues to use their endeavours to see the Parish continue to flourish as decisions taken in the near future may affect our lives and those who may live here in the future for years to come.

<Back to top>

CHURCH, Jennifer Ann

Jenny ChurchI am a retired nurse teacher who has been a Parish Councillor for the last 7 years, one of only 3 female councillors. I have lived in the village for the last 36 years and find it a most lovely place to live and we want to keep it that way.

My main interests are the environment, planning and road safety. I am secretary for the ‘Environment’ & the ‘Premises and Recreation’ sub-committees. As one of the founder members of the Bergholt Youth Group, which has been most successful, the needs of young people are very important to me.

I have produced a newsletter 8 times a year on behalf of the Parish Council to try to keep in touch with the villagers we are representing.  I have been part of the steering group for our Parish Plan and for the current Neighbourhood Plan. This plan should be completed this year and will shape the future of the village. It will influence how our village develops in terms of housing, social & community amenities, recreation, transport and the environment. I look forward to continuing in my role as a Parish Councillor.

<Back to top>


John Gili-Ross - ChairI have lived with my family in West Bergholt since 1983 having moved to Essex after completing RAF service and taking up an advanced technologies teaching position in Chelmsford.  We chose the village for its rural setting, village community, good local schools, public transport and main roads.   Our son went to Heathlands and the grandchildren went to Bluebells.  My wife is a village child minder and I can often be seen with her and the children at Heathlands, Bluebells and play areas, giving me regular opportunities to talk with residents and appreciate their views and aspirations.

I became a Parish Councillor with a desire to positively contribute to the community in parallel with fulfilling a busy business career that helped provide professionalism to my Parish Council activities and responsibilities.  A Councillors role is heavily regulated and ever changing and matching statutory responsibilities to modern village life can be very demanding.  I am honoured to have been Chairman of an excellent team of fellow councillors all of whom are dedicated to the village.

My hobbies and interests include golf, walking, motorcycling, fishing and flying.

<Back to top>

HARLOW, Murray James

Murray Harlow

I have lived in West Bergholt for 18 years and have been on the Parish Council for 3. I have been Communications Officer of the Parish Council for that time, introducing Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds, and am on the Environment & Highways and Premises & Recreation Sub-Committees.

I am also involved in other local activities including the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, The Care Network and St Mary’s The Virgin, Parochial Church Council where I run 5 T’s (Tea Together on Thursday at Two Thirty) and a quarterly Seniors Lunch on a Saturday.

I am a widower with two wonderful daughters Amber and Ciara (BYG).

<Back to top>

HEWITT, Lee Andrew

Lee HewittI am on West Bergholt WEA branch committee and West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan. I have just been offered an allotment. I am age 41 and lived in village since I was 18 months old.  I used to live at Whitehouse Cottages, Queens Road until moved to Mumford Close in 1980. I used to do Betterware in village but stopped about 10 years ago due to my disability (arthritis in back) which is why I don’t work but last few years I had been thinking about starting my own business. I am interested in planning, transport, highways and disability issues. Villagers might remember my grandparents who worked at the school, grandad was the caretaker.

A lot of villagers know me by name but if not then by sight. I always go shopping twice a week for mum by bus (I don’t drive) with a red shopping trolley. I am a very friendly person and like talking to people, helping them with advice if they need any. I was always helping grandparents with shopping or gardening if they could not do it.

<Back to top>

HOWARD, Rachel Mary Patricia

Rachel HowardMy family and I have lived in West Bergholt for over 14 years and both my daughters have attended Heathlands School.  I began my career in the London financial industry and, following the birth of my younger daughter, I have worked within the village. I was employed at the Co-op for 3 years and have been a Learning Support Assistant at Heathlands school for the last 5 years. Through my volunteering as a Brownie leader and involvement with other community groups, I have enjoyed being part of our village.

I have been a Parish Councillor for the past 3 years. During this time I have been a member of both the Premises and Environment committees. I am also part of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

My focus as a parish councillor is to ensure that the views of the villagers of all ages are fairly represented on the Parish Council. I would like to see the Neighbourhood plan implemented and our village protected from over-development.

<Back to top>

JAMES, Rosemary Irene

Rosemary JamesI am 66yrs old, a widow, mum and grandmum.

I have lived in our village for 29yrs retiring from banking 6yrs ago.  I was co opted to the PC on September 2013 and sit on 2 sub committees.  My interests include travel and gardening, I was a keen joint allotment holder until my husbands death in January this year.

I passionately believe that as a parish councillor I can fully represent your views and help influence & shape the long term development policy for our parish.  By working to identify issues I can help improve our quality of life and environment of our village.

I believe I have the required qualities and energy to commit myself to the duties of a councillor and look forward to your support.

<Back to top>

SAVAGE, Andrew Philip

Andrew SavageI have lived in West Bergholt for over 30 years with Clover.  Our 2 girls went to Heathlands Primary School which I supported through the PTA.  This included working on the first 21 annual PTA Firework events.  I’ve also spent the last 14 years helping the Parish Council where I’ve specialised in obtaining grants from different organisations for various village projects such as providing new children’s play equipment, improvements to the Orpen Hall and supplying additional sports facilities.  I also provide assistance to the ‘Friends of Hillhouse Wood’ including helping with their working parties.

I enjoy walking and cycling (including occasionally cycling to and from work in Chelmsford).  When I eventually retire from work, Clover and I hope to increase the number of trips we’ll be able to take around the country in our caravan.

<Back to top>

STEVENSON, Christopher Daniel

Chris Stevenson 2015I am a local government officer working at Essex County Council as a Transport Planner and Highway Engineer. My family moved to West Bergholt in 1998.

I have been a Parish Councillor since 2007 and take a keen interest in planning, being the current Chair of the Planning & Development Committee, and led the refurbishment of the Orpen Hall car park. I am a firm supporter of localism and led the production of the Parish Plan, a joint community and Parish Council initiative. I am currently the Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group which is producing a blueprint for the future of our village.

My other village interests include allotment gardening and publicising the events of Hillhouse Wood. I also help to run the West Bergholt Sports Club which oversees the operation of the tennis courts and games area. If elected I would very much hope to continue the work of the Neighbourhood Plan so that village interests can be protected and the facilities on offer to the community enhanced.

<Back to top>

STONE, Harry

Harry StoneI am a retired Secondary Headteacher and have been a resident of West Bergholt for nearly 40 years. I have been a Parish Councillor for the last 8 years and vice chairman and chairman of the Environment Committee for 2 years.

Fully involved in village life I helped establish the Youth Group which now has about 100 members and meets every two weeks. I am also chairman of the Care Network, former chairman of the Allotment Committee and have helped develop various community projects such as the Village Safety Plan and Neighbourhood Plan.
<Back to top>


Bob Tyrrell 2015I have lived in West Bergholt since 1989, and run an architectural practice in the village. I have been a Parish Councillor for 20 years, and was vice chair for 12 years. I have always been an active member. Responsible for the Orpen Hall Extension, designing the new car park and producing The Village Design Statement.

With a Village School, traffic safety is extremely important. I do not support the yellow lines in New Church Road, because they need monitoring to be effective and will only move the parking problem elsewhere. There are passive and more visually pleasing traffic calming measures, and with 20mph speed limits are more appropriate to what is an attractive village

As an active member of the Neighbourhood Plan, this is crucial to the future of our village, we must have a robust plan in place or developers may try to ruin our village. But only with your help.

<Back to top>

WALBY, Philip John

Phil WalbyI have resided in this village for last 10 years. Since retiring as a Police Officer I decided to use my, now, free time for the benefit of my community. So, amongst other things, I have been involved with our Parish Council for about 3 years and for 2 of these I have served as Chair of Premises and Recreation. Since my time in post I have been instrumental in the many changes in the Hall and its’ environs, such as the new kitchen, complete redecoration internally, new alarm system to ensure security, new external lighting, resurfacing of the car park.

I also instigated the provision of an artificial all weather pitch for use of young footballers. I have a good working relationship with West Bergholt FC and BHYFC who use both Poors and Lorkin Daniels fields. I encourage participation in sporting activity.

I work alongside our Halls Administrator taking an active interest in all clubs using the facility and the management of Lettings.

If elected I promise to continue in the same enthusiastic manner!

<Back to top>
Quality Local Council Award